Africa billionaires are lining up to put their money where their mouth is in the fight against Ebola.
At least four FORBES AFRICA cover millionaires are putting up to $50 million to fight the disease. It’s being seen as Africa solving its own problems.
The millionaires include: Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group; Strive Masiyiwa, the Founder and Chairman of global telecommunications group Econet Wireless; Patrice Motsepe, the Founder and Executive Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals and Jim Ovia, Chairman and Co-Founder of Zenith Bank.
The fund, called the Business-to-Rescue Fund, was launched on November 8 at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, the first meeting between the AU and the Africa’s private sector.
“Africa is becoming conscious of synergies that exist between entrepreneurship and development and Econet Wireless Group has been involved in the fight against Ebola as early as April,” says Masiyiwa.
Masiyiwa said business was affected by everything that threatens life in the African economy.
“Our focus is the economy and well-being of our generation. The African people will not allow Ebola to persist like the HIV/Aids pandemic.”
Kola Karim, the Managing Director and CEO of Shoreline Energy International, says leading billionaires have set up a benchmark fund of between $30 million to $50 million.
“It’s unfortunate that the Ebola has caused this much pain without a quick response both from governments and businesses. It is the responsibility of the governments and the private sector to make interventions when serious problems like Ebola attack the region,” says Karim.
Political analyst at the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for the Study of Democracy, Gideon Chitanga, says entrepreneurs are playing a role of corporate social responsibility.
“Africa has seen a surge in the number of billionaires in the past decade and it is time that these billionaires start giving back to communities where they are generating their wealth from,”